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TR- Shootings, Evacuations, Hostages, Oh my...Day 1

Discussion in 'Full Las Vegas Trip Reports' started by joeybagz, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. joeybagz

    joeybagz Bronze

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    TR- Shootings, Evacuations, Hostages, Oh my...Day 1
    Mar 31, 2017, 12:58 PM
    So I went for my 14th trip to Vegas this past weekend 3/24 - 3/27 with my sister and her best friend. We go at least once per year, sometimes 2 or 3 and travel from the East Coast (or we would come more often of course).

    Bellagio

    Well, I got a good deal at the Bellagio with Mlife. We have never stayed there before as we only stay in MGM, Mirage, and Palazzo. So we gave it a try. Not sure I would return...

    Thursday night I got an email to do mobile check in. You should absolutely do this! The lines for normal check in were insane. I got in a mobile check in line with like one person in front of me. Our room was 22079 - end of the hall, long walk - quite hallway, but loud outside noises.

    Presidential Limo

    Let me back up to the airport. Per usual, we hired Presidential Limo for about the 10th time. Always on time. This driver was kind of 'off'. He was fun and let us stop by the Vegas sign for a quick shot, but he did almost walk into a wall and was on his phone the entire time.

    The man who picked us up for our return was professional, prompt, and courteous. We love Presidential and won't use anyone else.

    March Madness and crowds

    We got our vegas sign pic and then he took us to Bellagio. We are not used to the insane strip traffic because we usually arrive at the crack of dawn. But at 1-2 pm, it was packed. Also, not sure I would return during March Madness. The crowds everywhere were just out of control. And the weather was too cool. We always go in the summer and are used to nothing but sun, hot hot days, and it tends to scare away the crowds. Lesson learned.

    Bellagio rooom 22079 and street traffic

    Bellagio let us check in a bit early which was appreciated. We asked to pay for an upgrade for fountain view, or spa tower, but none were available. Seeing as we have seen the strip 100 times, we were fine with our view of rio and the mountains. However, be warned, the casino tower we heard police sirens all night long all three nights. We had never heard any kind of street traffic like that in the other 3 hotels we frequent.

    Bellagio Pool - awful

    We went to the pool after checking in and it was dreadful. Probably the most boring pool in vegas. Also, we couldn't find food anywhere. The cafe was not open yet, and the other place that 'sold' food 'ran out' as of 3 pm. They said to walk inside and buy something - but there were just premade sandwiches (nothing my sister could eat who has celiac disease.) So she starved, and we ate horrible pricey sandwiches that didn't taste good.

    We then went up to get ready for our dinner reservation at Aquaknox.

    Bellagio room

    The bathroom is spacious - it was big enough for three ladies to get ready at once, however, there are only 2 outlets in the entire room. We had to take turns drying hair and using curling irons. There is a great full length mirror in the hall, but no one could ready there due to lack of outlets. There are no outlets near the bed, so you have to get up at night to check your phone if it is charging. I know, I know, a tiny detail, but a negative for us.

    I found the beds fine and was delighted to not have feather pillows which two of us are allergic to. My sister and friend did not find the beds comfy. I think we are spoiled because mgm, mirage, and palazzo all have amazing beds - though skyloft had the best we have ever slept on in our lives!

    There was not much hallway noise at bellagio, which I enjoyed. But, the street noise kept us up all hours of the night.

    Aquaknox at Venetian/Palazzo

    We had eaten here before and had a great experience. We went back expecting the same, but it was awful. They forgot to put my sister's order in, so she had to eat alone after we finished our meals. They served my meal on a cloth napkin - which was very odd and I found kind of gross? The waiter Jesse forgot our bread which we asked for twice, and brought it at the end of the meal. The food was so-so. We won't be going there ever again.

    The Bank nightclub at Bellagio/shooting

    We went back to our Bellagio hotel to enjoy the Bank nightclub. We had been before but it had been a while. One nice benefit to the Bank is that the Bellagio gives all guests access to the club without a line or fee, and to my knowledge no other club in vegas does this. The downside to this is, since everyone is let in - all ages, all types, it is not one of the 'it' clubs and was pretty lame.

    We had fun and our bartender Matthew was amazing. Great customer service, great drinks.

    We were enjoying the music and drinks for a few hours and kind of enjoyed the fact that the club was not a popular room, because there was room to stand, breathe, and not huge lines.

    However, around 1 am or so, the lights go on, the music stops and no one knows what is going on.

    I see a girl next to me facetiming her friend, who was reporting an active shooter in the Bellagio.

    I started to get a bit scared, and just wanted to be home with my kids at that point.

    They told us we must exit immediately. We had to go down several flights of metal steps in heels, and it let us out on some grass and sand on a street. We stood there for about 20 minutes with no information, slightly panicked. By then there were many rumors of a shooting, a robbery, or an active shooter. There were helicopters overhead. There were police cars flying by with sirens on.

    They then told us to move from our spot and we had to leave. So we walked up to the back of the bellagio and asked if we could gain entrance. They said the front was on lockdown, but that we could go in the back.

    We walked in and it was eerie. Table gaming was stopped. Security guards were all huddled and whispering, but no one would tell us what actually happened. We heard you could not go to your rooms and they were on lockdown, so we started gambling on slot machines, which were actually open. We won $470 on a spin, and screamed in joy! But then, we were scolded and told to keep it down and that 'everyone was on edge due to what had just happened.' Even though no one would tell us what that was. We then asked to go to our room and our tower was allowed, though we hear the spa tower was not (good thing we didn't get that upgrade I guess, right?). We went to our rooms and went to bed.

    The next morning we found out that some masked gunmen carrying sledgehammers, wearing a pig mask, came to rob the rolex store in the bellagio. Apparently their getaway car didn't work and they tried to carjack someone and ran off into the garage, thus the partial lockdown.

    The next day only got more interesting.....
     
  2. joeybagz

    joeybagz Bronze

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    Day two

    Woke up and found out more details about why we had been evacuated from the Bank for the robbery attempt at Rolex in Bellagio the night prior.

    My sister and I woke up early and decided to give the Bellagio Buffet a try. She has celiac and a severe gluten allergy and had heard they handle it well here, so we gave it a try.

    Bellagio Buffet
    The line is a cluster - you get in quicker with an Mlife card - but most are confused if they have one or not, and even after you get ahead of the crowd, all the lines converge and you get back in line with the 'regular' folks - it is just a disaster of a line.

    Our waiter, I can't recall his name, was lovely. He made sure the chef came out to walk my sister around and show her all of the gluten free areas. For a celiac diner, cross contamination can still make you very sick. So if someone unknowingly touches a fork or finger on some bread or something with gluten, then touches the gluten free food, she could still get sick. For that reason, buffets scare her and rightly so. But she ate here three times and never got sick.
    They also offered to make her gluten free pancakes, but it took so long for this to happen, that she skipped waiting the other two days, even though she said they were delicious.

    The bacon here is amazing. French toast was good. Pancakes were burnt. Sausage was cold. But all of the other food I tried, including fruit, bread and meats, were good. I got a hot tea each morning and the water came out nice and hot, and usually served with honey. Our waitresses the next two days were no where near as good as our waiter day one, but we still had a great experience and good food all three days at the bellagio buffet. Much busier on monday, by the way, than on sat and sun. And, in the mornings, the earlier we went, the smaller the lines. At 7-8:30 no problem. At 9-10, be prepared to wait.

    Day two was interesting to say the least. We had to go to Cosmo to pick up our friend's Rent the Runway dress - there is a location in Cosmo which is easy to get to by tram from bellagio - and the tram is free. Thank god we decided to wait until sunday to get her dress...you will soon see why.

    We went to leave Bellagio to go to the mgm lazy river because our pool was so dreadful and we love the lazy river. However, the front was still on lockdown from the robbery at bellagio.
    So we had to turn around, walk to the other side of the hotel to get a cab from a side entrance. Once there, the valet/concierge/security staff were also very confused and didn't know what to tell people. They had us wait in a huge line in the street, people had suitcases and were freaking out about missing flights. The street was all blocked with cabs and cars and utter chaos from the main entrance being blocked and on lockdown. After standing there a good 10 minutes we could tell the line wouldn't move and we were going nowhere. We were concerned because as most of you know, it is illegal to cross the street or hail a cab from a street in vegas. A nice door man said if we ran across a highway nearby, it was allowed, and we could get a cab from caesars, so we ran across the highway which was very dangerous, but the only way to actually leave your hotel if at bellagio. Once there, we couldn't find a cab, but luckily, an uber guy was dropping his fare, and we begged him to let us in and we would just pay him under the table $20 to get us to mgm out of desperation. The strip was blocked and we couldn't figure out why....soon we knew...
    He took the back roads to mgm which was great. We went in the pool, found some chairs, had some food and relaxed.
    After about an hour or so, we started hearing more reports. This time of hostages on a bus, a shooter, swat teams, etc in front of the cosmopolitan. We were glad, again, that we decided to wait a day to go to the cosmopolitan. Apparently the SWAT team thought the shooter was inside the hotel and casino and it caused mass hysteria.
    We had so much fun but wanted to head back.
    We watched the news and realized we couldn't get back to our hotel. We figured out we could take the monorail to get down to our hotel, but cosmo and the entire strip was on lockdown, and they were not allowing pedestrian traffic on any bridges, meaning, even if we got to our end of the strip, we could not cross so we would be stuck.
    At that point, we decided we needed to start drinking and gambling. My sister and friend did very well on roulette, and I did not. So I decided to go to the bar at craftsteak and visit a favorite bartender from the past Larry (though he didn't remember me). I had some delicious drinks (he makes a mean washington apple shot.) I met two guys on business next to me and they started giving me their left over Wagyu steak, bought me dessert, and some drinks too! Even though I was in my bathing suit and a cover up and looking washed up, I wound up hanging here for hours while my friends gambled. I became pretty drunk pretty fast. Oops.
    My sister and friend were starving and I was still as well. We love Wolfgang puck, so we went to get dinner. We ate at the bar and got pizza and pasta. We love the food here - definitely order the pasta. They even have gluten free and my sister has never been glutened/or gotten sick here. They prepare it very carefully.
    We then went to hail a cab but found a very long line.
    We got an SUV for $56 and went back to the Bellagio.
    We were finally allowed in our hotel and found out the hostage situation was under control, and that the man who had killed someone and injured another had been apprehended.
    We found it a little strange that even with these lockdowns, hostage situations, shooters, and robbery, people were still walking around partying with not a care or concern in the world!
    We did a bit of that too, but also had a sense of concern and were a bit scared of what was happening to our favorite city to visit! Never in my 14 trips had I experienced anything this scary, much less on back to back days.

    We were so drunk, tired, and ready for bed, that we actually stayed in for the first time ever in vegas and went to bed early.

    Lame day two, I know :)
     
    Tessa QC, Hoofy7 and momnkid like this.
  3. joeybagz

    joeybagz Bronze

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    Woke up again and went to the Bellagio Buffet.
    Food was consistent, line your typical dreaded mess, but enjoyed our meals.

    On this day, now that the Cosmo was no longer on lockdown, we decided to take a trip to Cosmo to pick up our friend's Rent the Runway dress. This is great for people who want to rent a dress and not buy one. You can pick it up right at the store, and return it there. They also let you try a few sizes in case one doesn't fit. You can also mail it back.

    Tram from Bellagio to Cosmo/City Center
    This was a vegas first for me. We caught the free tram. It was very convenient, although we felt like we were going to fall over the track it was very unstable and a bit strange to ride.
    The ride is very short and lets you right off at the rent the runway store.

    Chandelier
    The store didn't open until 10 or 11 - can't recall, and we were there too early. We love the Chandelier bar so we went to get a drink, but alas, also too early. As we walked away, the bartender said, it's okay, I will take you anyway. So we sat down. He talked my sister into trying a Verbena. It is a crazy drink where you chew a flower that numbs your mouth (he compared it to pop rocks) then you drink a margarita. My sister got two of them, so she must have enjoyed! We got champagne and mimosas. Mark was our bartender, and he was friendly enough.

    While at the bar we met some random youngster who was a tax accountant from ca who was giving up his career to start a strip club in vegas. As HR and marketing professionals, we tried to give him some advice.

    O'Shea's/Linq
    We took a taxi with him over to O'shea's and the Linq, a place we discovered and enjoyed the last trip in october of 2016. The beers are cold and cheap, and my sister can get her gluten free beers, and we can play beer pong and play our own music choices on the jukebox. There is also relatively cheap blackjack which we played and really enjoyed.

    I wanted to try an in and out burger on the linq walkway but the line was wrapped around the building. I had a piece of the pizza at the shop next door, and it was amazing. Highly recommend!

    We played beer pong for hours on end and had a great time. After a while we decided to cab it back to bellagio. The cab driver mumbled about how he would 'take us across the street' (complaining about low fare). I called him out on it and we laughed, and I promised him a large fare later if he wanted to take us to Frankie's tiki room, our favorite bar off strip, He agreed and gave me his card, and he was our driver for the rest of the night. We called on him three more times and every time, he came and got us when we requested, even though far off strip.

    Olive's
    We got ready for our dinner reservation at Olive's. This was my second time at Olive's and I am just not a huge fan. Everything is so spicy, I can barely eat it. Even some of the bread was spicy!
    The bartender suggested a streetcar, we got one, and although tasty, I had heartburn after the second sip. The waitress was kind enough to credit me for my drink. She also brought me a birthday dessert and was very sweet. Although she did forget a salad, she apologized for it. Her name was MIchelle. She was very pleasant. Pasta dishes and steak were good. I don't know what it is about this place. Maybe because I have been there, done that, I'm just over Olive's. They do have a great view of the fountains, but even with a reservation two months in advance, our table was not close to the fountains.

    We then went to Frankie's Tiki Room to see our favorite bartender in Vegas, Melo. He is the coolest, laid back bartender and always says just the right funny thing, and makes the most delicious tiki drinks. I always get the Lapu Lapu. It is so yummy! The drinks are rated by skulls. The three skull is pretty powerful. Only get a four or five skull if you can handle your liquor! The drinks have a bite and sneak up on your. Our issue is we always go after dinner and are too full to properly drink the delicious libations from Melo.

    We stayed here about an hour or two, then called our taxi buddy to take us to freemont street.
    A fun 80s rock cover band was playing outside. The roof show was Tiesto - not my favorite, wish we had been there for the greenday one a few days prior. We always gamble at golden gate. We played blackjack and roulette for quite some time. We had a good time gambling here. Our friend from TA and Vegas Fanatics introduced us here and we go every trip ever since.

    Our taxi driver picked us up around 1 am and we headed back to our hotel

    I need to mention an awesome slot machine at bellagio before I forget. It is near the elevators for the casino tower rooms. It is a $10 wheel of fortune and $20 max bet per spin. It is costly, but we hit it a few times both at Bellagio, as well as at Palazzo, and I also hit it at golden gate (the D).
    A new favorite.

    We hit the buffet on the morning we flew out monday 3/27. We got our presidential limo driver to take us to the airport, and off we went.

    Overall, a great trip, with lots of laughs and a few new finds. We booked our flight for the next trip already just a few days after returning. See you all labor day 2017!

    By the way message me with any questions I am happy to answer.
     
    vrak01, Tessa QC, MNSlotLover and 7 others like this.
  4. Indianasoxfan

    Indianasoxfan Platinum
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    Enjoyed your report, that was a trip you won't forget. I like a little excitement but not that much.
     
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  5. Luckylinda

    Luckylinda Platinum
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    Glad you still managed to have a nice trip. That was a crazy weekend.
     
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  6. joeybagz

    joeybagz Bronze

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    Thank you - we always, always manage to have a nice trip. Lots of laughs and one liners to last a lifetime. Missed seeing some of you though like we got to for the halloween weekend meet and greet in '16.
     
  7. joeybagz

    joeybagz Bronze

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    thank you - it is memorable on many levels! i left out the part about my sister stealing a dolly and going for a ride on it and security being called on us :(
     
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  8. Elf70

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    Great TR. I was at cosmo when you were at Bellagio. I watched the Bellagio robbery aftermath from my balcony and got caught in the Cosmo casino stampede the next day. It certainly made for an investing weekend. Glad you had a great trip despite the nonsense.
     
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  9. joeybagz

    joeybagz Bronze

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    Oh no! how scary. what a mess. i hope you were not trampled too much and had a winning weekend :)
     
  10. Elf70

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    I discovered that I run really really slowly. People were passing me with ease. Good thing there really wasn't a shooter! And no I had a big losing weekend - but still had lots of fun.
     
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  11. Hard4

    Hard4 Gold

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    Hey quick question - going from the Bellagio to Cosmo is just a few steps out the front door. Take the people movers, down escalator and right into Cosmo (trying not to get shot at the bus stop of course). Why would you take the tram to Aria to get to Cosmo? The walk from the City Center tram stop has got to be twice as long as just walking from Bellagio.

    Not criticizing, just wondering if there's something I'm missing.... like a secret back way to get around.

    Great write up. Very detailed, especially for writing everything after the trip - no way I could remember all of that.




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  12. Wheels

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    Many questions here....


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  13. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED Platinum
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    Currently that way it closed (those people movers are closed off)
     
  14. Hard4

    Hard4 Gold

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    Did not know that.

    Wouldn't it still be much shorter to just walk down the Bellagio drive? Taking the tram to Aria and then walking back to the east tower at Cosmo is a good 20 minute ordeal


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  15. jenblase

    jenblase Platinum
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    Yeah I walked down Bellagio drive to Cosmo over Super Bowl trip and it was still pretty quick!


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  16. RobbieW

    RobbieW Silver

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    Seems like it was a very eventful weekend, it's good you still managed to have some fun. After reading all the trip reports from that weekend I'm glad I changed my trip to early March... initially I was bummed about missing March madness, not so much now.
     
  17. BFF

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    Thanks for taking the time to share your trip. Loved it! Seems you find some very interesting (and different) spots!!!
     
  18. slotmanjack

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    Fun read! Thanks for sharing!


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  19. dvandentop

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    I think walking from valet to front of Cosmo is quicker then long escalators most of time.
     
  20. Hard4

    Hard4 Gold

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    You may be right, but then you miss the hookers hanging out up near the people movers.


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